DeKalb County Commissioner Elaine Boyer is being criticized by a government watchdog group for allegedly misusing her county debit card for thousands of dollars of personal expenses.
According to a recent investigation by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Boyer used her county VISA card for non-work-related expenses that include meals, rental cars, and airline tickets to a ski resort.
The newspaper reports that many of the purchases came during a two-year period in 2012 and 2013 in which Boyer and her husband were in danger of losing their home to foreclosure.
Republican Boyer represents portions of District 1 in north DeKalb including Brookhaven and Dunwoody, says Georgia Public Radio. She sometimes paid back the VISA charges within weeks or months, but more than $2,600 was still unpaid by the time the newspaper began asking for receipts.
William Perry of the government watchdog group Common Cause said it appears Boyer used the county VISA card as an open line of credit for personal expenses.
“This isn’t something that should be used a slush fund or a line of credit. This is taxpayer dollars,” said Perry.
Boyer did not respond to WABE's requests for comment, but told the AJC the expenses were the result of sloppy bookkeeping.
Currently, DeKalb commissioners have no oversight on how they use their county debit cards.
After years of talks, DeKalb Interim CEO Lee May and the county commission signed off on a budget that includes money for an internal auditor position. However, it remains unfilled.
Boyer has voiced concerns about the amount of power the proposed auditor would have, particularly when investigating elected officials, WABE says.